When you undergo surgery, your doctor and the rest of their team should take care to ensure that the area is clean and sterile and that nothing is left behind in the surgical site. This requires doctors and nurses to carefully count their tools and keep track of any sponges or gauze packed inside the surgical site and to remove it all before closing the incisions. Negligent surgeons sometimes leave behind pieces or whole sponges and pads of gauze, which can cause serious discomfort, illness, and pain for the patient.
If you or a loved one was injured from a sponge left inside their body during surgery, contact Fayetteville, AR retained sponge from surgery lawyer Ken Kieklak immediately. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can explain your rights to you and help you understand your options to sue and seek compensation for the injuries you faced. For help with your case and to schedule a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.
Suing for a Sponge or Gauze Left Inside After Surgery
As mentioned, doctors are typically not supposed to leave gauze or sponges inside of a patient during surgery. This is often considered an example of medical malpractice and can lead to pain, discomfort, and infection and may require additional surgery to remove the sponge in its entirety. If you underwent injuries from this kind of surgical mistake, you may be entitled to sue for damages to cover the cost of this additional care plus any pain and suffering and any other damages you faced from the doctor’s mistake.
In some states, retained sponge cases fall under a special set of rules for medical malpractice cases. Typically in a medical malpractice case, you need another doctor or qualified medical expert to testify as to whether your doctor’s care fell below the applicable “standard of care.” In some states, the fact that they left a tool or item inside is considered obvious negligence, and there is an assumption that the doctor is at fault because the patient was unconscious and only the doctor or their team could have put the item there. However, Arkansas does not have these rules, and you must still have an expert testify on your behalf.
These cases can also be difficult because it can be hard to notice that the sponge is there. While you may have pain or discomfort, your doctor may brush it off as typical post-surgery pain. In many cases, you may not know that the sponge is there – even through due diligence – until some time after the surgery. Working with another doctor and getting a CAT scan or X-ray might be the first time you know there is a real problem and that your doctor caused it.
In Arkansas, the 2-year deadline to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice is extremely strict. It is vital to talk to an attorney and seek additional medical care at the first sign that something might be wrong so that your lawyer can file your case on time and fight to retain your claim and get you the compensation you need. Filing your case late might limit your recovery options, and you should speak with a lawyer about how to proceed.
Compensation for Injuries from Sponges Left Inside the Patient
If you faced injury or unnecessary complications during your surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for the harms you faced. The complications from having a sponge, gauze, or another tool left inside you can be severe, potentially leading to severe discomfort, illness, septic shock, and even death, if left untreated. If you or someone in your family faced these struggles and harms, the doctor that injured them should be held responsible and made to pay for the damages you faced.
One of the most common damages for a retained sponge injury is pain and suffering. The feeling of having something in the way of organs or body systems can be uncomfortable or downright painful. As the sponge begins to break down and fray, you could face more severe pain and discomfort, and if the object interferes with your body systems and their normal function, you could face even more pain. This can be compensated directly as part of your lawsuit.
If there is something in your body that should not be there, you will likely need surgery to remove it. This can require expensive medical costs and time off work to get the treatment you need. There could also be complications with this procedure or a longer recovery period if the sponge is lodged in a difficult location. This could mean time off work and expensive medical bills for the procedure. These costs should be covered as part of your lawsuit as well.
In addition to these damages, you could face other harms because of the conditions you developed or injuries sustained by the foreign object. This could justify damages to compensate you for the lost quality of life and further illness. You can also seek compensation for the death of a loved one, including the cost of funeral arrangements, lost wages for your family, and other damages you and your family face because of their loss.
Call Our Fayetteville Foreign Object Retention Lawyer for a Medical Malpractice Consultation
If you or a member of your family underwent surgery and later discovered a sponge or other surgical tool inside their body, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, for help filing a medical malpractice claim for your injuries. Our Fayetteville, Arkansas retained sponge injury attorney may be able to take your doctor to court and fight to get you and your family compensation for their negligent healthcare and injuries. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (479) 316-0438.